By Wade Flavion
MADISON- We are finally in the homestretch of the Wisconsin Basketball season, and after two big wins against Rutgers and Purdue at home, the Badgers look to go on the road to beat the #19 Michigan Wolverines.
This will be the first, and only, game against Michigan this season for Wisconsin and this matchup could be very messy. Michigan is currently riding a five-game winning streak over some very good Big Ten teams including Rutgers, Purdue, and Michigan State. These two teams are very evenly matched with very similar conference records, wins, and weaknesses. The weakness of poor road play can be applied to nearly every team in the Big Ten this season, but Michigan and Wisconsin are both prime examples. Both teams are under .500 on the road and have looked like different teams playing away from home.
Unfortunately, the burden of being the away team will fall on the Badgers tonight, and they will have to fight in a very difficult game if they want to remain in second place in the Big Ten. Coming off of a massive win against Rutgers, players like Brevin Pritzl and Micah Potter will need to continue their elevated play to be able to beat this Wolverine squad who has consistently been one of the top-scoring teams in the Big Ten this season. This does not mean that the Badgers need to put up a lot of shots tonight, but they need to be able to get efficient and consistent shots to stay in what is going to be a track meet on the scoreboard tonight. This means that Wisconsin needs to continue working for open threes on offense by using Micah Potter and Nate Reuvers to draw defenders in from the three-point line. To beat Michigan tonight, these two will also have to limit the impact of Jon Teske inside, who has the ability to be a catalyst for their offense in the paint.
Getting good and efficient shots, and playing stellar inside defense is how Wisconsin is going to defeat this #19 Michigan team. Hopefully, the Badger’s road game woes do not continue tonight and they are able to compete against a Wolverine team that I believe they match up well against. This, most likely, barnburner of a game should be a fun one for Wisconsin fans to watch that will have some lasting implications for Big Ten rankings and on NCAA tournament seeding.